The poly-pad

the remarkably comfortable, simple, inexpensive
contoured polyfoam shoulder rest for violin or viola

“Secure, comfortable support with a
shoulder pad you almost don’t feel!”




IMPORTANT NOTICE: Various sellers have offered "Players EVPM sponge pads
for violin and viola" for $3 or less. Some of these show two photos of the product:
the economy EVPM pad on the left, and the original model of the poly-pad on the right.
Do not be deceived! If you order from these sellers, you will not be getting a poly-pad!

Recent praise for the (real!) poly-pad:

"We LOVE your product. It's the only kind of sponge shoulder rest we carry
at our store because nothing else compares."
—Dealer in Wisconsin

"They are the answer to a violin teacher's prayer!"
—Violin Teacher in New Jersey

"I love the fit of the poly-pad! So much more comfortable than what I had been using."
—Violinist and Teacher in Virginia

"The pads are very, very comfortable. My 5 year old is loving it... My 9 year old
says it is the best and most comfortable shoulder rest/pad she ever tried."
—Parent in Texas

More comments...

Here's an unsolicited testimonial from a Juilliard Pre-College student.

Tens of thousands of poly-pads have been purchased and
endorsed by individuals, studios, schools, and music dealers.

The new streamlined poly-pad design, introduced in 2010, slightly
narrower at the shoulder end, is praised by long-time poly-pad users.

Please don’t confuse the poly-pad with other foam pads
that look similar. None have the poly-pad’s unique shape
that has been praised by teachers as the best they’ve found.

Watch this 45-second poly-pad video!

Read the story of the poly-pad.

Why do people love the poly-pad? Because it is

• amazingly comfortable, practically weightless
• shaped to follow the slope and curve of the shoulder
• conducive to good posture and a relaxed instrument hold
• praised for relieving chronic neck and shoulder pain
• kind to your instrument and your body
• less likely than other rests to fall off while you play
• used and recommended by violinists and violists worldwide

The poly-pad is available in six sizes:

EXTRA-LARGE (3.7 x 7 in., 9.4 x 17.8 cm)
for players who feel they need a very high shoulder rest
(however, if considering this size, please read this advice first);
you probably need a higher chin rest!!

LARGE (3.2 x 7 in., 8.1 x 17.8 cm),
preferred by most adult players of full-size instruments;

MEDIUM (2.7 x 6.5 in., 6.9 x 16.5 cm),
for most players of 3/4 size violins and small violas;

SMALL (2.3 x 6 in., 5.8 x 15.2 cm),
used mostly by children playing 1/4 and 1/2 size violins;

EXTRA-SMALL, (2 x 5 in., 5 x 12.7 cm),
for 1/8 and smaller size violins; and

the tiny LILY-PAD)
for 1/16 and “cherub” size violins.

NOTE: The first number is the maximum height, where the poly-pad rests on
the upper chest; the second number is the length from large to small end.

this chart (inches) or
this chart (metric).

Size guidelines are approximate! Please see notice below about the fantástico
discount for first-time customers unsure which size(s) they may need.

The poly-pad is available in three colors:

• the traditional charcoal grey (all sizes)
• a slightly firmer cool blue (all sizes)
• new hot pink! (in M and smaller sizes only)


TO ORDER, please see HOW TO ORDER, or simply e-mail,
providing name, address, contact information, and size(s) and color(s) desired.
You may also be able to purchase poly-pads from a string instrument shop near you.
(If they're not on this list, let them know they could be!)

NEW PRICES as of June 18, 2019
(due to the increasing cost of poly-foam):
$8.50 per pad ($4.25 per lily-pad) plus shipping.*
$7.50 per pad ($3.75 per lily-pad) when ordering 5 or more pads.
Price includes poly-pad, rubber-band net for securing pad to instrument,
and instructions.

*Shipping (in the U.S.): $4.00 for the first pad, 25¢ for each additional pad
up to 10 pads. On larger orders you will be invoiced actual shipping cost.

Size guidelines based on instrument size are only APPROXIMATE!
The size shoulder rest needed may depend more on the size of the
player than the size of instrument.

If you are a FIRST-TIME retail customer not sure which size(s) you need,
you may qualify for the “fantástico!” discount offer:*
buy two poly-pads of two different sizes or colors
and get one of these at half price—plus shipping, or
buy three (or more) poly-pads of three different sizes or colors
and get two of these at half price—plus shipping.
*To take advantage of this offer, you MUST mention the word fantástico!
This offer can be used ONLY ONCE, for your FIRST order of poly-pads.

NOTE: You may order as many pads as you wish, but the half-price offer applies to
a maximum of only two pads of different sizes or colors, each of which must be a
different size or color than a pad for which you are paying full price.

If you order five or more pads, the “full” price is reduced (see above), and the
“fantastico” price of a maximum of two pads will be half the reduced price.

Remember to include shipping (see above), and sales tax if you live in Iowa.

Here are photos showing ways to attach the rubber-band net to instruments of different sizes.
Here is a photo with instructions for how to tie a replacement rubber-band net for your poly-pad.
You can also download this video showing how to tie a rubber-band net yourself.
And here is advice for securing a poly-pad that slips.

Do you have a shaped case with no room for a shoulder rest?
Poly-pads that are repeatedly "squished" into a case will lose their shape.
You may want to buy a 7 1/2" x 10" drawstring bag that can be attached
to the case handle to hold your poly-pad. I NO LONGER SELL THESE,
but you can purchase them online directly from Oriental Trading:

Poly-pads are also sold by dealers throughout the United States as well as in
Australia, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, and South Africa. For more information,
contact Michael Kimber.

If you are a string instrument dealer interested in joining the ever-growing
number of poly-pad retailers please contact Michael Kimber.

Some ideas worth considering:

Read Practicing Comfort
for some thoughts on the importance of comfort when playing.

Read Some Thoughts on Shoulder Rests
for more thoughts about shoulder rests and instrument hold.

Highly recommended:, a web site that deals exclusively
with the proper fitting, positioning, and comfort of violin and viola chinrests!

to learn about a research project involving violin and viola students at the
Utrecht Conservatory in the Netherlands that emphasizes the importance of
 • selecting appropriate chin rests and shoulder rests and
 • retraining cramped playing habits.

Please take a moment to have a look at Michael Kimber’s MUSIC.

RETURN to Michael Kimber’s Viola Homepage.

Updated March 21, 2020.